The Portuguese media describes his compatriot as the “King of Asia” after his great achievement
The Portuguese Leonardo Jardim, coach of the Al Hilal team, scored his presence in the major Portuguese newspapers, which highlighted the historic achievement of the Saudi team by winning the AFC Champions League for the fourth time in its history, after defeating the South Korean Pohang Steelers with two goals without a response, in the final confrontation that brought together Between the two teams at King Fahd International Stadium in the capital, Riyadh. Under the headline "Jardim the King of Asia", the well-known Portuguese newspaper "Record" wrote about its compatriot, coach Jardim, that he is the first Portuguese coach to win the AFC Champions League title and go down in history.
And the newspaper pointed out: Six months were enough for Leonardo Jardim to make history, as he led Al Hilal to victory over South Korean Pohang Steelers (2-0) and became the first Portuguese coach to win the Asian Champions League, at the age of 47, to join Jardim with the likes of Artur Jorge, Jose Mourinho and Jorge Jesus and Manuel Jose and Apple Ferreira, all continental champions.
“It was a fair victory,” Jardim said. “The discipline of my players was essential for us to win.”
Record newspaper added: “Because he plays in Riyadh, the Saudi capital, the Portuguese coach’s task has become easier in front of his fans and with FIFA President Gianni Infantino in the stands, Al Hilal only needed 16 seconds to open the scoreboard, which is the fastest goal on the field.” The launch in the AFC Champions League final, with a great left-footed shot from Nasser Al-Dosari.
In the second half, there was a well-known player, according to the newspaper “Record”, which is Mariga, the former Porto player, who received the ball from Frenchman Gomez and hit it directly into the net.
After the match, Jardim took to the pitch to celebrate with the players, including former Sporting Lisbon player Matthews Pereira. Al Hilal was on a date with history and became the team with the most titles in the competition, winning 4 championships and surpassing Pohang Steelers, who has three titles.
The Saudis will now be present at the Club World Cup, scheduled for February in the UAE, as Jardim explained: We know the quality of our opponents, but we will go to the World Cup to win matches.
And “Record” continued, in its expanded report on its compatriot Jardim, who leads the Al Hilal team: “Last June, Jardim took over the leadership of Al Hilal. Now to you is the King of Asia Jardim.”
Congratulatory messages continued to Jardim as the first Portuguese coach to win the Asian title. Fernando Gomes, president of the Portuguese Football Association, congratulated Jardim after winning the Asian title, explaining: “With his knowledge, efforts and talent, he achieved a goal that honors not only his work, but the entire Portuguese football, Especially our training school.
Pedro Proenca, president of the Portuguese League, congratulated his compatriot Jardim, praising him for being “the first Portuguese to win this competition.”
The Portuguese “Abola” referred to the crowning of its Portuguese compatriot Jardim, the coach of Al Hilal team, with the Asian title, which is Jardim’s first title with the Saudi team.
Regarding the presence of Al Hilal in the upcoming Club World Cup as the champion of the Asian continent, Jardim said: “We know that we will face strong teams, and we are not the candidates, but our goal will be to win the largest number of matches.”
International media highlighted Al Hilal’s achievement, as the global SPORTS MAX website indicated the Saudi team’s superiority over its Korean counterpart, explaining that the victory gives preference to Al Hilal as the team that has won the most continental title with four titles in the history of the competition, describing it as the new Asian record that is unique to it. The blue team after outperforming its opponent, who participated in the match with three previous titles.
While the global network “ESPN” reported that Al Hilal made history as the first Asian champion for four times, a year after the new epidemic of the Corona virus (Covid-19), becoming the first Asian champion in the history of the competition to hold the title four times.
CNN provided detailed coverage of the match, which Al Hilal won early in its favour, through Nasser Al Dosari’s goal, which he scored after 16 seconds from the start of the match, noting as well that Al Hilal achieved the title for the fourth time.
The Portuguese Leonardo Jardim, the coach of Al Hilal, managed to break the misfortune that accompanied him during his training career as a coach, by achieving the Asian title with Al Hilal, after he lost all the four cups he played in, all against Paris Saint-Germain.
Jardim led the Saudi Al Hilal team to achieve the first continental title in his training career, at the expense of the Korean Pohang, to become the first Portuguese coach to win the Asian Champions League after the Portuguese coaches achieved continental championship titles in Europe, Africa and South America. Jardim failed to lead his French team Monaco to win the French League title in the 2016-2017 season, before also failing to reach the Champions League final after losing the semi-final against Juventus, back and forth.
While Saudi goalkeeper Abdullah Al-Mayouf maintained his record of keeping a clean sheet in the AFC Champions League final in the 2019 and 2021 editions, after he managed to get out of the final that collected Al Hilal against Urawa of Japan with a clean sheet, while continuing his career by keeping his own net against Pohang Settlers, While he became the most Saudi goalkeeper to have participated in the finals of the modern system of the championship by 4 times.
Al-Mayouf began his participation in the Asian finals, with his former team Al-Ahly against Ulsan in 2012, before moving to the ranks of Al-Hilal team and participating in the 2017 final against Urawa, which the Blue team lost 2-1 on aggregate, before Al-Mayouf protected the Crescent net in the 2019 final against Urawa, During which the blue team won the title with a score of 3/0 in the home and away total, before its victory over South Korean Pohang 2/0 in the final of the 2021 edition.
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